Rising energy prices are hurting hard-working South Carolina families and businesses where they can least afford it--their pocketbooks. Whether it's for fueling trucks that deliver goods or driving our personal vehicles around town, we need reasonably priced oil, and South Carolina needs real solutions in addressing our nation's energy crisis.
One of the most effective short-term solutions is to construct new domestic refineries. The United States has not constructed a new major oil refinery since 1976. We have hundreds of thousands more cars on the road today than we did in the 1970s, and our oil refineries cannot keep up with public demand. We must also approve the opening of more places for the exploration of oil in this country. I am in favor of exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and the outer continental shelf. By building new refineries and exploring for oil at home, we can provide consumers relief from the burden of high gas prices.
Furthermore, I recognize that we as a nation have become too dependent on oil as our primary source of energy. That is why I support a national energy policy that includes the development of long-term non-oil alternatives, such as ethanol (corn based) and fuel cell (hydrogen-based) technologies. We must act now to ease the strain of high-energy costs on consumers and keep America moving forward.